Chemical Compound Shows Promise in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Therapy disrupts signals that fuel inflammation.

Therapy disrupts signals that fuel inflammation.

An investigational chemical compound may prove to offer significant hope for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Research presented in the June issue of the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics discussed the potential of a recently discovered chemical compound named IQ-1S. The study evaluated how the small molecule compound acts in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers found IQ-1S significantly decreased the severity of collagen-induced arthritis. The compound also reduced cartilage and bone destruction.

Additionally, the researchers found IQ-1S to be effective due to the targeting of kinase proteins that signal destructive and inflammatory activities. Because IQ-1S can inhibit kinase activities, the compound subsequently reduces joint tissue and lymph node cell inflammation.

Biologic drugs currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, including Humira and Enbrel, are effective in blocking signals that fuel inflammation, but the high cost of these drugs restricts access. These limitations on biologics increase the need for new treatments, such as IQ-1S.

"There is a real need to develop new kinds of drugs that are different," said senior author Mark Quinn, a professor in the Montana State University Department of Microbiology and Immunology, in a press release. "They could be combined with other available drugs or replace drugs that aren't working for patients."